On Episode 10 of Bigger Than Me, Rocky discusses the 3 most important relationships that you need in recovery and life in general. The 3 relationships are with a Higher Power, self and others. It’s a universal truth and it also directly correlates with recovery and a 12 step program. Rocky brings up the point that you are always the main character in your life or at least the narrator. In the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous it talks about how we often want to be the actor and director of our lives, Rocky makes the point that we are also the screenwriter of our lives.
How we handle one relationship is how we handle them all, Rocky says “If I come from a place of love in all of my relationships, the actions may be different for each relationship but the place they all spring from is the same.” If you have a loveless relationship with yourself how can you expect to give another person love? Our capacity to love others is capped by our capacity to love ourselves. These 3 relationships directly correlate with the steps. Both the relationships and steps are in order for a reason.
Relationship with a Higher Power
Steps 1, 2 and 3 are all about establishing a relationship with a Higher Power of our understanding. When we enter recovery, our lives are often falling apart. We have no faith, we hate ourselves and have barely any relationships left. We have all these false ideas about ourselves and don’t have the power to stop using or to change anything. Most of us can accept the fact that addiction or alcoholism is a power greater than ourselves. No matter what we have done to control or cease using or drinking without working on ourselves, we end up drinking or using again. We need to establish a power greater than addiction to be able to overcome it. This relationship gives us the slightest of ideas of how we can begin to move forward.
Relationship with Self
Steps 4-7 are for us. They are the steps that we take an honest and hard look at ourselves. Without even the beginning of a loving Higher Power in our lives, how could we make an inventory or list our character defects without getting back into the vicious cycle of self-depreciation and eventually using again? Rocky brings up the 100-dollar bill analogy that is often talked about when it comes to a 5th step. If you offer a homeless man a 100-dollar bill would he take it? Absolutely. If you rub that 100-dollar bill on the bottom of your shoe would he still take it? Yes. What happens to a 100-dollar bill doesn’t make it lose value. The same principles apply to humans. We are not our past mistakes, decisions or things that have happened to us. We also cannot give what we don’t have.
Relationships with Others
If you have no experience in handling your character defects how can we possibly go and begin to right the wrongs that we have done to others without causing more harm? Steps 8 and 9 are for others. At this point we have done some extensive work on ourselves. We can have responsible conversations with others and hopefully fix some of the damage of our pasts. Most importantly we will not make those same mistakes in the future. It cycles back through to us, a Higher Power of our understanding and then back out to others.
Rocky also points out that the best way to learn something is to teach it, this is where sponsorship becomes such a big part of recovery. It’s not a one-shot deal, we are not cured, and we are still new to this when going through the steps the first time. We must be living in the steps and principles and working on this continuously. We as humans are continually evolving. Our relationships, our spirituality, priorities, life is continuously changing.
We must continue growing in our relationships with a Higher Power of our understanding and in a relationship with ourselves to be able to help others the way we have been helped. Rocky leaves off by saying that relationships with others are a whole separate topic. What ways do you enhance your spirituality, your relationship with yourself and with others? Get back to us and let us know!